The Hoper of Far-Flung Hopes

*BEWARE: long blog post*

Yesterday, I put a post on my Twitter feed asking for peoples’ thoughts on self-funding PhDs. I was really staggered by the response I got: 60 tweets on the subject, with a really diverse range of feedback and opinions, some of which hadn’t previously occurred to me. What does occur to me is that this is a pretty hot topic, particularly at the moment with the current University funding situation.

I’d like to list a few buzz words, first of all, which I have found to be regular occurring concepts when people think about self-funding.

*Failure* *Grit* *Determination* *Madness* *Practically impossible* *Rewarding* *OK if leading to non-academic career* *Waste of time* 

So, a bit of background: I started my English PhD in 2009 following a self-funded MA. I used my savings to pay for the course itself, then proceeded to work 25 hours a week to…

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